Grearson History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The age-old tribe of the Strathclyde Britons of the Scottish/English Borderlands were the first people to use the name Grearson. It is derived from Grier, a pet form of the given name Gregory, which means watchful.

Early Origins of the Grearson family

The surname Grearson was first found in Dumfriesshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Dhùn Phris), a Southern area, bordering on England that today forms part of the Dumfries and Galloway Council Area, where they held a family seat from very ancient times.

"The Griersons of Lag, Dumfriesshire, claim descent from Gilbert, second son of Malcolm, dominus de MacGregor, who is said to have died in 1374, but, says Col. Fergusson, 'there is no evidence or foundation for the story commonly current that this family was an offshoot of the Highland family of MacGregor.' " [1]

Early History of the Grearson family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Grearson research. Another 321 words (23 lines of text) covering the years 1250, 1411, 1411, 1429, 1451, 1232, 1502, 1526, 1557, 1671, 1704, 1547, 1590, 1564, 1657, 1733, 1408, 1608, 1623, 1654, 1655, 1677, 1760, 1709 and 1711 are included under the topic Early Grearson History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Grearson Spelling Variations

The many spelling variations in Medieval Scottish names result from the fact that scribes in that era spelled words according to sound. Translation too, was an undeveloped science, and many names were altered into complete obscurity. Over the years Grearson has been spelled Grierson, Greson, Greyson, Grayson, Greirson and others.

Early Notables of the Grearson family (pre 1700)

Notable amongst the family at this time was John Grierson or Grisson (died 1564?), a Scottish Dominican who is believed to have been from the family of Grierson of Lag in Dumfriesshire. [2] Sir Robert Grierson of Lag (1657-1733), was 1st Baronet of Baronets of Lag & Rockhall, Dumfriesshire. He was "persecutor of the covenanters, was descended from an old Dumfriesshire family which claimed as an ancestor the highland chief Malcolm, lord of Macgregor, the friend and ally of Robert Bruce. The lands of Lag are said to have been bestowed on Gilbert Grierson by Henry, earl of...
Another 96 words (7 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Grearson Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Grearson family to Ireland

Some of the Grearson family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt. More information about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


New Zealand Grearson migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Grearson Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Michael Grearson, aged 20, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879
  • John Grearson, aged 19, a farm labourer, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Arethusa" in 1879


The Grearson Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Hoc securior
Motto Translation: Safer by this.


  1. ^ Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  2. ^ Smith, George (ed), Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co., 1885-1900. Print


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